The Marianas Visitors Authority reached out to over 125,000 travel trade representatives, media representatives, and potential visitors last week at Asia's largest annual travel show, the Japan Association of Travel Agents World Travel Fair 2012.
Japan is the Northern Mariana Islands' largest source country, and JATA is that country's national organization of travel agents and suppliers promoting the travel and tourism industry.
The fair was held Sept 21-23, 2012 at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center.
“Although the number of visitors decreased on Sunday due to heavy rain, the total number of visitors was still 7 percent greater than last year,” said MVA Marketing manager Bruce Bateman. “In all, the MVA's outreach to tourism professionals and potential visitors was a resounding success.”
In addition to distributing destination information and answering questions at the Northern Marianas booth, the Northern Mariana Islands delegation attended a reception at the U.S. Embassy, participated at an MOU signing between the USA and Japan, conducted an interview with Tabihaku TV and featured a talk show with the destination's Saipan Travel Girl 2010 Rieko Ayumi, Miss Saipan 2011 Mai Yukawa, and Miss Saipan 2012 Misato Shimizu.
The MVA also offered demonstrations of Carolinian beadwork, the art form of banana painting, crafting with coconut palm fronds, and a magic show by SandCastle Saipan. A paper-scissors-rock children's contest with the destination mascot Saipan-da! was held, and winners received a Saipan-da! backpack.
“We saw long lines of waiting visitors around our booth,” said Bateman. “The audience was excited about the magic show and, as always, the children and adults were excited with the backpacks they received.”
Visitors to the booth also walked away with temporary tattoos and other branded souvenirs as a reminder of the Saipan, Tinian, and Rota destination.
The fair featured 1,083 exhibition booths with companies and organizations from 156 countries and regions participating. Private partners also participating with the MVA were Pacific Development, Inc., Japan Saipan Travel Association, Fiesta Resort and Spa, Kanoa Resort, and Saipan World Resort.
This year, the MVA participated in activities of Brand USA, the public-private partnership promoting travel to U.S. destinations, including the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. (MVA)